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New regulation to ease enforcement.

On average, one percent of the Macon County Sheriff's Department's monthly calls are related to nuisance noise complaints. With 13,000 calls a month, about 13 calls placed to dispatch are to report loud music, disruptive neighbors, and other aggravating noises in the county. Until last week, MCSO had no authority or way to handle those calls, resulting in conflicts between neighbors across the county.

"Without a violation of any ordinances It did not matter how loud or how long it went on there was nothing we could legally do," said Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland. “Our officers were frquently told there was nothing preventing them from doing what they were doing and they did not care what their neighbors thought. My officers were simply left with leaving the area without resolving the issue.”

Now, with the passing of the county's nuisance Sheriff Holland, believes his deputies have the backing to address those issues more effectively. While some argue that the new ordinance, which is effective 24 hours a day and clearly defines what noises are considered to be in violation, may cause more work for law enforcement, Holland believes it will actually reduce the time his officers are spending on noise related calls.

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Macon County's CareNetwork (CareNet) is upgrading its food pantry to give its clients more options when it comes to shopping. Instead of boxing up clients' monthly pantry items and giving them pre-selected items each month, CareNet is in the process of implementing a client choice option that allows visitors to shop through the pantry once a month for items they need.

"We’re excited about our new manner with which we can serve families, here in Macon County, with a more personable approach," said Shaina Adkins, executive director of CareNet."That said, the CareNet Client Choice Pantry provides families with an opportunity to choose the foods they would eat and like to provide for their family."

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By mid-2014, self-published authors began taking home the bulk of all ebook author earnings generated on Amazon.com, while authors published by all of the Big Five publishers – Penguin Random House, Harper- Collins, Hachette, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster – combined slipped into second place, according to the January 2015 Author Earnings Report.

While self- or indie-published authors closely follow the costly dispute between Amazon and Hachette over retail and wholesale ebook pricing, titles of all genres are faced with increasingly competitive markets, says publishing sales coach Kim Staflund.

“ISBNs – International Standard Book Numbers – continue to experience enormous growth with each successive year, and in the past decade we’ve seen a gold rush-style of exponential growth due to the self-publishing movement,” says Staflund, founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG), www.polishedpublishinggroup.com, which supports a business model in which authors take a proactive, entrepreneurial approach.

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Dogs play a special role in a home, bringing laughter, love and warmth. But dog ownership comes with great responsibility and there are certain things to consider before beginning the adoption process.

Getting your home ready

Just as a home needs to be prepped for the arrival of a new baby, you must also make preparations for dog adoption. In fact, many shelters will even check whether your home is suitable for dog ownership with a site visit before approving your application.

If you’re a homeowner, be sure to take steps to make your home more dog-friendly.

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There is nothing like getting thrown into the trenches on your first day of work to give you all the on-the-job training you need, and one Macon County Sheriff's Deputy knows that all too well.

Last Wednesday, Matthew Bowman suited up for the Macon County Sheriff's Department for his first day on the job. Within the first hour of his shift, he was called out to assist other deputies with an "urgent call for assistance."

Bowman, who was accompanied by other deputies as part of his field training, walked into the Otto home that was the subject of the call and found himself in the middle of a situation where the suspect was holding a rifle to his chin, threatening suicide. What started out as a routine call to the Otto home to make an arrest for back child support, turned into deputies talking down a suspect threatening to lodge a bullet in his own head.

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About five years ago, Franklin became the first town along the Appalachian Trail to be designated as a trail town. Now, following in Franklin's footsteps, more than 30 towns from Georgia to Maine have earned that designation and have started shaping their town to best accommodate hikers.

With 47 miles of the Appalachian Trail within Macon County and Franklin falling just 111 miles north of the AT's trailhead at Springer Mountain, Ga., Franklin makes for the ideal stopping point for hikers to resupply before heading to the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Wesser, N.C.

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Major league ballparks across the country opened on Monday as baseball season was officially kicked off. It won't be long before Macon County's own ball fields will have the greenest grasses, the smoothest baselines, and perfectly sculpted mounds ready for pitchers of all ages to take the stage at the Parker Meadows recreation complex.

With stadium lights being hoisted up, all underground electric work completed, and the pump house updated, ball players in Macon County are expected to have their gloves in the dirt by summer.

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Various town government departments submit monthly reports to the town of Franklin Board of Aldermen. The board receives the reports as part of their monthly agenda packet. The information details the works of the town and different departments in Franklin.

Franklin Police Department
The police department responded to 827 calls from Feb. 24, until March 30. Of the 141 reports filed, 44 were accidents, 32 were arrests, and 71 were incident/ investigations. Enforcement actions during the time period included 32 arrests, 72 citations, 35 criminal papers obtained, and 24 warning citations.

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The clock is ticking for the 2015 elections, with just three months left before the filing period opens in Macon County. Both the town of Franklin and the town of Highlands have several seats up for election, with filing for either board opening at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 6, and running until noon on Friday, July 17.

In Franklin, four seats are open and includes three aldermen positions and the office of mayor. The aldermen up for election include Verlin Curtis, Farrell Jamison, and Joyce Handley. When asked via email if they had made plans to run for re-election, Handley stated that she had not yet made a decision. Curtis and Farrell did not respond.

Mayor Bob Scott, who is currently serving his first term, was affirmative in his plans to once again seek office, citing more work needing to be done.

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Want to know what's happening in Franklin this summer? Visitors and residents will soon be able to look to the sky to find out what is coming up. Monday night, with unanimous support from the Franklin Board of Aldermen, the issue regarding hanging banners gained momentum, moving it one step closer to official approval.

Franklin business owner Larry Hollifield brought the issue before the board earlier this year hoping to convince town leadership to reconsider a policy that specifically prohibited banners from being hung across Main Street. Hollifield was tasked by aldermen with forming a committee to establish a revised policy concerning banners and presented the new terms to board members during their April meeting.

Hollifield worked with other business owners to define appropriate banners as special event advertising displayed by non-profits or a group of businesses to promote events that benefit the downtown area. The banners would be hung in one specific location, that would need approval from the Department of Transportation. Hollifield noted that the suggested location be the second cross walk when topping so-called town hill at a height of 20 feet to avoid interference with semi-trucks.

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